Top 10 Tips for Taking Better Pics with Your iPhone

3. Get the light right

The first thing to know about lighting for your iPhone is to turn off the flash and go with natural light whenever possible. The flash will often blow out your photos, cause bright spots on people’s faces, and generally create a harsh look. However, natural light isn’t always available, or the position or angle of the light is making parts of the shot look too bright or too dark. In those cases, be sure to take advantage of the iPhone’s ability to manually adjust exposure.

Basically, you’ll adjust your exposure in the same way that you adjusted your focus. All you have to do is frame your photo and then tap on the part of the image that you want the camera to adjust the lighting for. For example, if you’re taking an outdoor shot and the mountain in the background is unclear, tap the mountain and that same yellow box will appear with a sun icon on the edge. The camera will automatically brighten the mountain. If you’re not satisfied with the lighting, tap the yellow square and then the sun icon. Swipe your finger up or down to adjust the light as you want it. Keep in mind that these manual adjustments don’t last long, so you’ll have to snap your shot quickly when you get the light just right. You can also lock your exposure in the same way that you lock focus, by holding down on the screen for a couple seconds as described above.

But what if you want to set your exposure on something different than the thing you are focusing on? No problem. Just set your focus point, and then use the exposure slider to swipe up or down to brighten or darken the image.

4. Balance with HDR

Even with the ability to adjust exposure manually, certain situations remain difficult to light appropriately. For example, wide or landscape shots with a bright sky and a dark foreground can be a challenge. If you want to get a good amount of detail and nice lighting and color in all parts of the image, tap HDR and choose Auto, On, or Off. Turning it on will guarantee HDR (High Dynamic Range) is being used for that photo.

How does HDR work? The camera takes three different pictures at different exposures, then mixes the best parts of each to create a single image with the best exposure throughout. Genius!

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